Fleet News

Skoda Superb Comfort 1.9 TDI

Skoda

Review

OFFICIALS at Skoda went for the Chinese option when they planned the latest move in expanding their company's presence across European markets.

Yet time may well show that they outmanoeuvred their parent company in the upper-medium sector by deciding to build the Superb – their version of the special, long wheelbase Passat.

Created by Volkswagen for the rising number of business executives in the fast-developing Asian economy, this model offers the space of a limousine in bodywork four inches longer than the standard model and is proving popular in China as a prestige car.

But could it soon become the preferred option here as more fleet operators acknowledge that new-generation Skodas are among the pace-setters when it comes to blending quality and value?

After ranking the 1.9 TDI PD130 Superb ahead of the Passat four months ago in the critical areas of depreciation and wholelife costs, we're now taking a closer look at the Comfort version on our long-term test fleet.

Taking over from the 2.5-litre V6 turbodiesel version I've been driving since last May, the smaller-capacity TDI has a hard act to follow in terms of quiet operation, 'waftability' over major routes and general refinement. Early impressions are extremely favourable. Considering it costs almost £3,000 less than the V6 in the same trim level, the 'junior' Comfort version represents outstanding value.

This is a model that has all the equipment you'd expect in the sector but also provides the luxury of cruise control, automatic air conditioning and a CD autochanger as standard. Given that it has less power than the V6 and can't be as smooth, the trusty VW Group PD130 unit is surprisingly muted and well-endowed in both performance and refinement.

Since the engine is still relatively tight, it is particularly impressive in these key areas.

Though the car has covered no long-haul drives as yet, the trip computer keeps returning 50-plus mpg economy in local running, so I'll be keen to see the average figure after some distance motoring.

Company car tax bill (22% taxpayer): £58.41 per month

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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